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ok the world is super dumb. what in the fuck is going on????!?!?!?!?

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Blair, Bush nominated for Nobel prize

From correspondents in Oslo, Norway

February 2, 2004


US PRESIDENT George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the European Union were among known nominees for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize as the nomination deadline ran out last night.


The five-member Norwegian awards committee, which keeps the names of candidates secret, accepts nominations postmarked by February 1.


It expects to have a rough count of the number of nominations by February 13, and a final one after the committee's first meeting of the year on March 2, when members can forward their own candidates.


Last year there were a record 165 nominations for the prize, which went to Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi.


Even though the committee keeps the nomination list secret for 50 years, those making the nominations often announce their candidate.


Mr Bush and Mr Blair have been nominated several years in a row, including this year, by Norwegian lawmaker Jan Simonsen of the right-wing Party of Progress.


In his nomination, Mr Simonsen wrote that by removing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, they lessened the chance of a war using weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and laid the foundation for the development of democracy.


Norwegian experts, including Stein Toennesson, director of the Peace Research Institute-Oslo, last year gave Mr Bush and Mr Blair no chance of winning, mainly because a vast majority of Norwegians, including members of the awards committee, were deeply opposed to the war in Iraq.


Former Labor Party leader Thorbjoern Jagland, also a former Norwegian prime minister, nominated the European Union for the prize for ensuring peace and security in Europe.


Others believed to be nominated, early in the process, include Pope John Paul II, the Salvation Army and former Czech President Vaclev Havel. Other names are likely to be know after nominators reveal them.


A broad range of people, including members of national governments and legislators and some university professors, have nominations. At its meetings, the committee quickly cuts out unlikely winners, and then shaves the remaining number down to a short list.


The committee, which is appointed by but does not answer to Norway's parliament, announces its decision in mid-October.


The Nobel Prizes are always awarded on December 10, the anniversary of their creator Alfred Nobel's death. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, and the other prizes in Stockholm, Sweden.


The prize includes a 10 million Swedish kronor ($1,750,000) cash award.


The Associated Press


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